Community

G’morning! This will begin a fun experiment in which I type up my post the night before, skim it over in the morning, and post it! And hopefully not hate it and want to start all over. My mid-first-cup-of-coffee posts are fun and all, but aren’t- uh, how do you say- coherent.

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Everyone talks about community in every game, whether it’s good or bad. It seems as though it’s an easy thing to define, to pin down, but is it? Let’s pick on one game, as an example:

World of Warcraft has millions of players, all across the world, that log in every day and enjoy the heck out of the game. That person probably belongs to a guild, they probably have friends that play the game as well, they are on a server where tons of other people play, and they’re playing a game which people devote a lot of time and energy to. Each of these circles is it’s own community inside a larger community inside a larger… you get the idea. I don’t want this example of Warcraft to stand as my solo example of community in games, it’s just the game I’m most familiar with, so I reference it a lot!

Not every single person agrees about every single thing. That’s part of human nature. Problems arise, however, when people that disagree with other people take it to the extreme. Yes, to me it is just a game, and I am able to separate out the game from real life, and understand there are real people sitting behind the pixels. To some people this game is very much a part of their livelihood, so it makes sense that they would be able to (hopefully) do the same, but take it a bit more seriously, or be a lot more in tune to the game, or the community in general. There are some people who just take it far too seriously, and can’t seem to separate real life from the pixels. I went through a period of time (a few years ago) myself where I was more like this, it didn’t last long, but I wasn’t able to ever really ‘log out’ of the game and enjoy life.

When I’m at home, I am pretty much on Twitter all the time (maybe too much =P). There is constantly A Discussion happening, whether good or bad, productive or silly, about any manner of games, really. Usually these are happening when I’m busy elsewhere, and I just see snippets of them, but when I do see them happening, a lot of times I’m afraid to chime in, even if I have something to say, or even if the conversation is happening between people that I interact with a lot, or that I’m good friends with. I’ve talked about my anxiety before, how I hold myself back and I’m my own worst critic. I know I have valid points, and can partake in conversations, but I’m almost more apt to have them in private, or not for all of my/our followers or guild chat to see. I am a lot better than I used to be, however, and I have my little community to thank for that.

A good community can make me stay in a game, a nonexistent or toxic one can make me quit and uninstall very quickly. I’ve been lucky enough to only run across the latter a couple times, and they’ve been smaller games, and more nonexistent than toxic. Just the same, a good community can make me stay in that community, whether it be my circle of blogger friends, gaming friends, crafting friends, or real life people that I guess I should interact with like my family.

I surround myself with good, supportive, fun people, and cut all negativity out of my life where I can. Life’s too short to get mad at someone on the internet, and sometimes a simple unfollow or block can save you a world of headaches or hurt.

This week marks a special occasion in my books, it has been one year since I’ve met some very awesome people who have quickly become a huge part of my life. It honestly means so much more, as a girl who never really had a ton of friends growing up, to have all these amazing people that I can call that. Unfortunately, all of you are all over the damn world, and I may not meet a lot of you in real life! Fortunately, I have met the above mentioned people who live a short drive away, and it’s so fun to hang out and geek out with them at our houses, versus sitting in front of the computer and typing away, or talking in voice chat.

It’s really interesting to me how the world and society changes, how a lot of us take for granted that we can log into a game and instantly talk with our friends and guild mates who are scattered across the globe, have jobs in all different fields, believe in so many different religions (or not), and are just so different, but yet we are all united by this common thing, whether it be Warcraft, FFXIV, or even games that aren’t normally considered MMO’s, such as Minecraft, Dragon Age series, or other ‘single player’ games.

Thanks for reading, go forth and conquer the day!

Get out of bed ya lazy-aww
Get out of bed ya lazy-aww
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Advice no one asked for

I HAVE RETURNED. LOUDLY.

 

Hi there! Today marks the beginning of the event that got me blogging, really blogging, in the first place. Also today is my one-year anniversary with WordPress!

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This program is amazing, please go to the site and check it out yourself. Even if you’ve been blogging for years, or like me, have been collecting dust on your blog and want to start it up again, the site and the bloggers who support and coach the newbies is an amazing and invaluable resource.

Without further ado, here’s my advice!

Just write.

You will develop your voice, you will develop your writing style and habits. It doesn’t have to be every day, it doesn’t even have to be once a week, but I found that at least starting out, aiming for a specific day on which to publish a post helped me out a lot. I could have time to scribble ideas down, or even just plop down in front of my computer and start typing. That’s another thing. Sometimes the best posts (the ones with the most page views, re-tweets, comments, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT AMIRITE*) for me have been the ones where I didn’t even know where I was going with it until I sat down and started phlailing away with my phalanges.

Life happens. It affects all of us differently, and sometimes you may have to set aside blogging in lieu of more important things, like work, sleep, feeding your cat, or seeing your family once and a while.

Like most things in life, you may be nervous, may be scared, and that’s okay! There is a great support system, I’ve really gotten to know and be good friends with a lot of people that were in my NBI class in 2014, and other bloggers in general! It’s a really fun way to explore the games (or game related activities!) you enjoy, and see how other people play or create things they love.  There is such a sense of community among bloggers that is almost indescribable until you experience it. In a way it’s similar to me to gaming with friends that I only know from the game, but in this instance you only ‘see’ them through their writing. Sure, social media lets you glimpse their real life, but when all you have are words and pictures to work with, I feel that you really get to know someone and what makes them tick. Some of you may pick this up and run with it, and become very prolific bloggers with a huge following, some may do it on occasion but have a small group of loyal readers, and some may drift away after NBI. All of those options are fine. After all, you have to do something, have to make that first step, have to make that leap, to know if you’ll fly. Is that cheesy enough? Yeah, probably.

HERE ARE SOME DO’S AND DON’T’S!

  • Don’t be afraid to add your voice to the chorus.
  • Don’t be afraid your ideas or posts are silly, or inconsequential.
  • Don’t feel like it has to be The Perfect Blog Post.
  • Be fearless.
  • Pick different games.
  • Pick different themes for your blog.
  • HAVE FUN. IF YOU AREN’T HAVING FUN THEN YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

*these stats are cool and all, but there are more important things in life from what I hear.

Short and sweet today, but that’s all I got. Wait, no one last thing. Poke Belghast or Alternative Chat – both are amazing writers and humans.

On Garrisons

Today’s post will have overtones of irritation, so be forewarned.  I was originally trying to put a positive spin on this post, but was unsuccessful. There are some elements to the garrisons that I do enjoy, but for the most part, the shiny newness of it has worn off, and I’m left now wondering what the use is of logging in and doing my wizard chores.

There has been a lot of talk on Twitter, and I’ve seen a few blog posts with this kind of overtone already published. I have been feeling like this a while, and I was afraid to post anything because I felt like my opinion was of the minority, but now I’m seeing differently.  Although, now I’m feeling like people will think I’m only posting this after everyone else has talked about it, due to the need for some sort of validation. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to be the first to stick my neck out, just not my style! I view my blog as a conversational one, not one where it is the first place people check for news and info. I just don’t have that kind of time, and I like to think things over before I put them in this space.

Back to the topic at hand. My issues with garrisons.

That’s what it is to me now, an issue. A daily quest, without the quest aspect, and the rewards seem minimal.

Crafting

Yes, you can get ALL the raw materials (ore and herbs) from your mine and herb garden. If you build the barn, you can trap animals for fur and savage blood. All this has done is make everyone more self-sufficient, and kind of killed any of the normal profit people make from going out and farming this on alts, then selling it on the AH. I only have one character at 100 so far this expansion, and she is a scribe.  I can only speak for my personal experiences then, and your results may vary 😉

I am now able to get all the herbs I need for my daily cool down and even make some glyphs from the herb garden. I don’t need to go out into the world and farm them up, as now the stockpile has me at over 100 herbs of each kind.

I have over 1000 of each kind of ore, and haven’t visited my mine since the middle of December. I do have an alt in the mid-40’s who is a JC/BS, and she will no doubt burn through that stockpile once she reaches 100, but guess what? Then I will have two mines that, if I want to gather the resources, I have to check once a day.

Buildings

This is a topic that I can see creating a lot of discussion here, or maybe (probably) I’m just imagining things.

I’m unhappy with the way the buildings work. I feel as though the small buildings are just…awkward. I currently have the salvage yard, the scribe building, and I just rebuilt for the third time the enchanter’s hut. Key words there are ‘rebuilt for the third time’. I really, really do not like having to undo and redo these buildings to suit whatever I need at the time. I have enough resources now that that part of the construction isn’t the issue, I just feel like that third building is so awkward. Maybe if I had two crafting professions instead of one gathering and one crafting it would be fine, but I just don’t like how it works. I don’t need the storehouse since I have the portal to Warspear in my garrison. I don’t really need any of the other profession buildings because my guild is large enough that if I need flasks or potions, or if I needed armor made, I could reach out to someone and have them  help, or just check the guild bank before raid and get what I need. The only reason I am rebuilding the enchanter’s hut (again) is to disenchant the low ilvl blues I’m getting from my follower’s missions, and the occasional green I pick up while killing mobs, if I even venture outside my garrison and do that.

The lumber mill is making me grumpy too, lately. I feel like I earn garrison resources at a better and easier rate from the trading post, and riding in circles around Nagrand has quickly grown old. Sure, I got a follower, but then it’s just another follower. I got some achievements too, so yay? Maybe it would have been completely different if I had gotten the LM first, and had it while I was questing and out in the zones, versus getting it once I hit 100. That’s what I’ll try on my alts, and see if that makes any kind of difference.

I still haven’t unlocked the pet menagerie. Anyone who follows my blog probably knows by now that I’m a serial procrastinator, and that also it’s been on my list of things to do for about a year now to level a team of battle pets to 25.

SPOILER ALERT- STILL HAVEN’T DONE IT.

So that’s sitting in the corner of my garrison, collecting snow (I would say dust, but we are in Frostfire Ridge so it’s snow, and you know what, never mind).

Missions

Oh boy oh boy. This is the main thing that has shifted from OMG YAY to OMG NO. Getting new followers, seeing how that works, learning about how the different counters match up, downloading addons to make it even easier, that was all fun. Leveling them up, getting them gear (even noticing for some of them that the cosmetic look of their weapons/armor changed as they got higher ilvls) was really fun and a neat new feature.  Fast forward to today, when I don’t even want to log in, because yes I sent them out to get more Abrogator (Alligator) Stones, more weapons and armor to gear up my followers, some gold, and maybe some garrison resources. Then there are the missions where they bring me back an item level 610 bracer. Cool, thanks guys.

I wish there was another ‘thing’ that they could go out and get. Maybe cosmetic items for my garrison, a chance at a box that might contain, I don’t know, a vanity pet or a toy or something?

 

All I know is, garrisons aren’t really working for me anymore. Now that I’m raiding consistently, I don’t need them for the gear, except for the very rare mission in which my followers bring me back raid gear. I just feel like I’m logging in, doing my thing in my garrison on autopilot, then logging out and playing another game, or doing something else. I feel restless. Maybe this will change in a couple weeks, once classes start back up and I have less free time, but maybe it won’t. I’m not quitting the game over garrisons, or letting these feelings impact how I feel about Warcraft in general. I do still love the game, and I really enjoy the people I play it with. This is just a part of the game that I’m finding I enjoy far less than I thought I would.

 

Thanks as always for reading, and please post comments below- I’m interested in seeing how other people feel about my thoughts above, and how the garrisons are impacting your gameplay.